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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 24, Issue 4, 2014

Technics, Meditation, Atmospheres, The Main Areas of Gernot Böhme's Philosophy

Gernot Böhme
Pages 32-43

Being Human Well. A Proto-ethic

Gernot Böhme discusses the nature of moral good in the light of what he calls proto-ethics, considering how to be human “well.” Here the predicate “good” takes on an adverbial and not an adjectival form, and Böhme refers to the Aristotelian distinction between praxis and poiesis to show that today's activistic civilisation with its emphasis on achievement as the effect of activity (poiesis) has deprived humans of their ability to focus on activity itself (praxis). Böhme rejects ideologies which profess the “enhancement” of humans by medical/pharmacological means, and instead postulates the recrea-tion of praxis skills by physical and spiritual training, especially in human relations with nature and the own body. Backing this postulate are numerous examples of how to be human “well.”